Kate Ward
May 16, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

That Summer in Sicily

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Marlena de Blasi
publisher
Ballantine
genre
Nonfiction, Biography

We gave it a B-

Lost while on assignment in Sicily in 1995, travel writer Marlena de Blasi happened upon a charming villa overseen by a woman named Tosca. Shortly into de Blasi’s stay, Tosca shared her life story: As a poor, WWII-era adolescent, she was taken in by a Sicilian prince, fell in love with him, and began an affair years later. That Summer in Sicily is a pleasant enough story that seems a bit too clichéd — you can imagine Tosca and the prince on the cover of a cheesy romance novel — but de Blasi’s delightful, all-too-brief descriptions of the villa and its superstitious residents nearly redeem the book. B-

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